COVID-19 in Historical Perspective

Branches of the ANZSHM and the Society's members have been active in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in placing it in historical context. Click on the links below to access a selection of papers, videos and programs.


The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Influenza and Covid 19

A presentation to the NSW Branch of the ANZSHM on June 10th 2020 by Dr Kirsty Short, Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland.

Historical Parallels between Australia's COVID-19 Response and Previous Health Crises

Assoc. Prof. Paul Sendziuk speaks on ABC Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’ program, discussing historical parallels between Australia’s COVID-19 response (and federal and state responsibilities) and HIV/AIDS. The program was co-sponsored by the National Archives of Australia. 


How Border Closures Failed in 1919

100 years ago, when Australia was gripped by Spanish Flu, the nation failed to contain the pandemic, and the weak spot was the border between Victoria and New South Wales. Crossing the border, the disease spread throughout the country, infecting hundreds of thousands and killing at least 15,000 people. The parallels to 2020 are striking. So will Australia’s containment measures succeed where they failed a century ago?' Dr Peter Hobbins spoke with the ABC Signal Team on 8 July 2020.


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© 2019 by Paul Sendziuk for the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine